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Costco Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
If you found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot, what would you do?
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How to Answer
You would turn the money in at the member service desk or to a store manager! The interviewer needs to hear that you are honest and ethical. In this situation, the best thing to do is to turn the money in, and it is what the interviewer expects to hear from you.
30 Costco Interview Questions
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  1. If you found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot, what would you do?
  2. Do you shop at Costco?
  3. Why do you want to work here and why should we hire you?
  4. Tell me about the type of team members you dislike working with.
  5. Where do you see yourself in the Costco organization in two years?
  6. If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
  7. What motivates you to work hard?
  8. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service?
  9. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
  10. Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
  11. Describe to me a perfect retail environment.
  12. How well do you handle customer complaints?
  13. What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
  14. Tell me about your experience in working in retail.
  15. What are some of your weaknesses?
  16. How would your references describe you?
  17. What are your greatest strenghts?
  18. What is your personal mission statement?
  19. Tell me about a time when you led a team. What was your biggest success factor?
  20. How do you define good member service?
  21. What do you know about Costco's working environment?
  22. How does Costco fit into your overall career plans?
  23. Would you enjoy handing out samples, socializing and promoting products to Costco members?
  24. What is your best personal trait?
  25. You have been out of work for a while, what have you been doing?
  26. Tell me about a time when you had to be a leader. How was the outcome?
  27. What would you do if a coworker asked you to help them steal?
  28. What position at Costco would you most like to work?
  29. How do you expect to make a difference at Costco?
  30. What questions do you have for me?
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15 Costco Answer Examples with User Answers
1.
If you found a twenty dollar bill in the parking lot, what would you do?
You would turn the money in at the member service desk or to a store manager! The interviewer needs to hear that you are honest and ethical. In this situation, the best thing to do is to turn the money in, and it is what the interviewer expects to hear from you.

Rachelle's Answer
"I could never keep money that was not mine. Perhaps the person who dropped the money may desperately need that $20 today, and turning it in would give them a better chance of finding the money."
Anonymous Answer
"Turn it into the Customer Service Desk."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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2.
Do you shop at Costco?
Be candid with the interviewer about if you have or have had a Costco membership. If you currently shop at Costco, that's great! Be sure to mention how much you enjoy your membership and shopping at Costco. If you have had a Costco membership in the past, be sure to say that you have shopped at Costco, and you liked it! If you do not buy at Costco, that is okay too! Merely share that you do not currently shop at Costco, but you hear wonderful things about it all the time and look forward to being part of the team.

Rachelle's Answer
"When my kids were younger, and living in the house, my Costco membership is what saved me! Time wise and financially. Now that they are off to college, my visits are less frequent, but this is still my go-to place for holiday shopping."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, my wife and I do."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer, I would consider adding what you like about Costco or why you shop at Costco. If you can convey that you have a special interest or passion for Costco that will be appealing for the interviewer.
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Anonymous Answer
"Yes, my father has a business membership with Costco and my husband, and I are on the plan. We love buying bulk household supplies, and we often grab lunch while we are shopping as well."
Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is nice and specific, which the interviewer will appreciate :)
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3.
Why do you want to work here and why should we hire you?
Costco's focus is bringing its members quality, brand-name, products at great prices. Tell the interviewer that you support Costco's goal of providing families with these great products and reasonable prices. Recognize that you would be helping create an environment where friends, family, and business colleagues come to shop together. Be excited to share that you would get to be a part of something great by being an employee at Costco!

Why should they hire you? Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. If you are unsure, talk about to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this part of the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.

Rachelle's Answer
"I want to work here because your organization is so huge and offers an incredible amount of opportunity for growth. You should hire me because I would be a loyal and long-term hire. I understand what goes into sourcing, onboarding, and training a new employee and I would be fully dedicated to this process and my potential career growth with Costco."
Anonymous Answer
"Costco is a good, reliable member of the community. I want to work with people that like what they do and a company that offers growth opportunities."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! You address the first part of the question really well. It's great to point out the positives of the company. I think you could expand on why they should hire you. What sets you apart from others or why would you be good at this job?
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4.
Tell me about the type of team members you dislike working with.
Costco is very much a team environment. You will not always be fond of the people you are collaborating with; however, the interviewer needs to know that any inherent dislike will not affect your job performance. Keep your answer positive and focus on your ability to self-manage despite team members who may drag you down.

Rachelle's Answer
"I certainly prefer to work with like-minded people who are go-getters and understand the meaning of hard work. It can be frustrating to work with people who have no drive or are lazy in general, but I ignore them and go about my day."
Anonymous Answer
"I have a teammate I currently work with that doesn't work efficiently or fast. He can be challenging to work with; however, I have found that if he is focused on helping customers, I can jump in and assist where needed with other customers, data entry, and filling prescriptions. We could work more efficiently if my teammate moved faster, but overall, everything gets finished every day."
Rachelle's Answer
Great way to end on a positive note. It sounds like you are very adaptable in the workplace.
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Anonymous Answer
"I don't dislike any team member. We are all different with different things happening around us. Our goal is to get the job done, and it's our responsibility to work together to reach a goal."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! I think the interviewer will like to hear about your dedication to getting the job done and reaching the goal of the team no matter who is on the team. If I were the interviewer I would probably follow up with another question like "Tell me about a time that you had a conflict with a team member" or "Tell me about a coworker who was difficult to work with" to try to see how you handle conflict and tough situations.
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5.
Where do you see yourself in the Costco organization in two years?
The interviewer wants to hear that you have realistic career progression expectations within Costco.

Tell the interviewer that you are excited about joining the team at Costco, and you anticipate that you will likely be in the same job in two years that you are hired for. If a promotion or another opportunity is available before then, that is great! But, you recognize that it takes time for developments and internal job changes to occur, so in two years, there is a good chance you will still be in the same job title, and that is okay with you! Be sure to mention that your goal is to learn as much as you can, so when the opportunity arises, you can be promoted.

If you are a student, tell the interviewer that you plan to stay at Costco through graduation in the role that you are hired into, and then share what career or further education you hope to be pursuing following graduation. If Costco offers jobs in your field, such as management, be sure to mention that you would be open to considering a career in your area at Costco if one is available upon graduation.

Rachelle's Answer
"In two years I would like to be on track for a promotion to assistant manager. I realize that a move like that takes time and dedication; both of which I am more than willing to contribute."
Anonymous Answer
"In 2 years, I expect that I will continue to be a successful Project Manager. If any opportunities are presented to me, and I feel I am a good fit, I will continue to reach for them and develop myself and be more of a value to the company and my co-workers."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer!
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6.
If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
The interviewer at Costco would like to know which tasks you tend to leave for last. Often we will move the tasks that we don't want for last in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully leave a specific responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am not a procrastinator; however, I would push the store cleaning to the end of the day if it were possible. It feels better to leave the store in pristine condition!"
Anonymous Answer
"Something that can be easily done and quickly. Tackle the tough ones first, leaving the easy ones for a good, strong finish."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! It's great that you lay out why you would choose an easy task to be last.
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7.
What motivates you to work hard?
We all have different things that motivate us. Goals drive some of us. Some of us are excited by having someone we look up to, who mentors us. Some of us are motivated by great leadership. Think about your life; what has been your primary motivator? Staying away from answers that involve money is always a good idea. Simply share, with the interviewer, what drives you to excel and achieve.

Rachelle's Answer
"I was always raised to have an excellent work ethic which means that I work hard, every day. I show up when I am expected, and I give my all to my employer. I especially like to work hard for my customers, making them feel special and cared for when they are in my store."
Anonymous Answer
"I have very high expectations of myself, and I enjoy being able to look back at something and proudly say, "I did that." I want people to see me as someone to look up to, and be the bar rather than raising the bar and trying to achieve something."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! This shows that you take pride in your work and that you are self-motivated.
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8.
Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for customer service?
Talking about a time when you calmed an upset customer can be an excellent example for this question. Be ready to talk about the time you went above and beyond with handling a customer complaint. Explain how you listened to every word the customer had to say. Next, describe how you apologized to the customer with a calm voice and sincere heart. Finally, be sure to tell the interviewer what solution you offered the customer. Perhaps you did not charge them for a meal if it was in a restaurant. Maybe you offered a new dish for them to try. Be sure to close with how happy the customer was when they left!

Rachelle's Answer
"In my current job, at the athletic store, I often have customers who are just starting to get into an active and healthy lifestyle. I will ask them discovery questions regarding their goals, their level of activity, any previous injuries, and more - so that I can properly fit them into the right athletic footwear. During the conversation, I will often mention resources they may like, such as recipe or fitness apps and websites. I want my customers always to feel like they received some added value."
Anonymous Answer
"I recently had an experience where I had a patient that needed medications transferred to our store due to her losing all of her medications in Los Angeles. She was traveling and needed to leave in an hour. I quickly called the pharmacy, transferred the medications, filled the prescriptions, and applied discount coupons to all of her meds so that she could pick them up quickly. She was extremely grateful that we could get her medications for her within an hour and they were relatively inexpensive as well!"
Rachelle's Answer
You took quick action and gave very good customer service. Nicely done. Great answer!
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Anonymous Answer
"We had a store that was very needy, and most people didn't like dealing with them. I offered to come to the store so the associate could show me what they were having problems with so I could fix things quickly and accurately. We are still friends today."
Alexandra's Answer
I think you can clarify this answer a little bit. In this situation, is the associate the one you provided good 'customer service' to? If that's the case I think this answer can still work! I would consider re-writing to say something like this:
"When I worked as a ____ at ____, I thought of my customers as associates at each store location. We had a store that was very needy, and most people didn't like dealing with them. I offered to come to the store so an associate could show me what they were having problems with so I could fix things quickly and properly. It is unusual for people in my position to visit the store directly, but I wanted to go above and beyond to help solve the problem. I was able to implement this solution. The associate and I are still friends today."
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9.
When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
When it comes to complex problem solving, decisions are not always readily reached. It takes practice, experience, and confidence to learn what sorts of decisions yield the best results. Walk the interviewer through your process when it comes to making quick decisions. Do you rely on past experiences? Perhaps you go with a gut feeling. Maybe you have read case studies that you lean on in these instances.

Problems that require you to act quickly can be emergency situations such as knowing where the fire extinguisher is and grabbing it fast enough to put out a small grease fire in the company kitchen. Other quick decisions could be if you are asked to take on a new responsibility and are only given five minutes to decide if it's something you are prepared to take on. Going with your gut is a skill, and the more you learn to trust your intuition, the easier it becomes to make these types of decisions. Demonstrate that you are confident and able to react swiftly, should the need arise while working at Costco.

Rachelle's Answer
"I thrive under pressure and always have, so when I'm given a time-sensitive situation to address, I light up and get down to business. I am more impactful and even more creative when I have little time to do much besides jump in and take charge. This ability to make fast decisions is especially helpful in my role as manager when there is an inventory, personnel, or customer issue."
Anonymous Answer
"There are usually multiple ways to fix the problem. If a quick response is needed, present a quick fix, but let leadership know a more complicated fix is required to do things correctly to keep the problem from reoccurring, and that a long-term fix will be addressed, and if needed put into production."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! It's great that you address how your response could change depending on the situation. Your attention to both the short-term and long-term issues is great!
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10.
Do you think it is possible to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader?
The interviewer wants to know that you can be diplomatic in the workplace, even when you may not agree with your leader. Show the interviewer that it is possible for you to be a good team member, yet disagree with the leader from time to time. Explain that you believe everyone is entitled to their own professional opinion, yet capable of maintaining respect for each other at the same time. Show that even if you disagree with the final decision they make, you support the direction the team is heading.

Rachelle's Answer
"I do wish to work with a leader with whom I agree most of the time. This agreeance doesn't have to be all of the time, but I do work best with leaders whom I understand and can communicate with effectively."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, it is. There are multiple ways of looking at things, and an answer other than mine may be the better answer."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! I recommend being prepared to describe an example of this that you've experienced.
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11.
Describe to me a perfect retail environment.
Think about what you like best about retail environments, and be ready to list 3-4 things that make a retail environment perfect. You might share things like:

- Bright lights
- Uncluttered wide aisles
- Fun merchandise
- A welcoming staff

Whatever it is that you like about the retail environment at Costco, be ready to share it with the interviewer!

Rachelle's Answer
"I love the work environment at Costco because everything is easy to find, and the variety is great. The music you play is enjoyable as well. Your staff is welcoming, and I always find something unique."
Anonymous Answer
"The perfect retail environment is one that: Draws customers Makes the customers comfortable Excites customers Makes them want to come back Makes them feel they are getting the best deal for the money they are spending Makes the customer want to recommend the business to family and friends without hearing a bad experience If a bad experience is had, make sure the resolution satisfies them"
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! Well thought out & addresses key points that I'm sure the interviewer would like to hear. This displays your care for the customer experience.
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12.
How well do you handle customer complaints?
Addressing customer complaints is an essential part of customer service, and the interviewer wants to hear that you are okay talking through a customer's complaint. Tell the interviewer that you do not mind addressing customer complaints, and you recognize that most customers have good intentions when coming forth with an issue.

Tell the interviewer that you take time to listen to everything the customer has to say first to ensure you truly understand what they are upset about. Next, share that you make eye contact with the customer and sincerely apologize to them. Finally, be sure to mention that you offer to correct any mistakes that were made or take the appropriate action to rectify the situation.

Rachelle's Answer
"I would rate myself as an 8/10 when it comes to my customer complaint management skills. I have worked in a retail environment for a few years where these complaints are inevitable; however, I am also interested in learning the Costco way when it comes to handling customer complaints."
Anonymous Answer
"Start by listening and remain calm. Come up with a resolution that makes the customer happy, but does not allow them to take advantage."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer! This shows the action you take and the reason that you take the action.
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13.
What sources do you look to when you need to solve a complicated problem?
The interviewer wants to know that you can think outside the box, or even ask for help when you are stuck on a complicated problem. Maybe you look to a mentor or boss for advice. Perhaps you have handbooks, manuals and systems you turn to for help. Offer some relevant examples based on your industry. If you work in the medical field, you may turn to textbooks, online research, colleagues or even patient's history to find the right solution. If you work in customer service, you may ask the customer what they need to find the best way to solve the problem. Show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and equipped to handle these types of scenarios.

Rachelle's Answer
"When faced with a complicated problem, I will look to the resources that my current company has provided me. The answer is almost always in there. If it's more of a moral dilemma vs. a knowledge-based dilemma, I will ask my supervisor for his thoughts and opinion since I value him as a mentor and expert in our industry."
Anonymous Answer
"If I don't have the answer, I look to co-workers, paper and online information, and friends and family."
Alexandra's Answer
Great answer!
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14.
Tell me about your experience in working in retail.
The interviewer wants to learn more about your background and experience.

If you don't have any experience, it's okay! Tell the interviewer that you do not have any experience in the industry, and you look forward to making the transition and learning everything there is to know! You can rely on your volunteer work, if you have any, and discuss the parallels to retail such as being customer facing or providing a valuable service.

If you have experience in retail, share where you have worked, your job title, and how long you were employed there. Add a sentence or two about what your job duties were in each role as well. Be sure to mention that you really enjoy this industry, and you look forward to continuing to work in retail industry roles. Also, refer to any key achievements.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have worked in a retail environment for the past three years, often being voted as the employee of the month. I have some training in inventory management, customer service, and dispute resolution. I look forward to furthering retail training with Costco."
Anonymous Answer
"I have been working in CVS Pharmacy for over five years. I initially began at CVS as a pharmacy technician extern and was offered a job. In eight months, I was promoted to a senior technician, and more recently I have been promoted to a pharmacy intern. I have learned a lot during my time with Walgreens such as problem-solving, multi-tasking, and time management."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you mentioned yous quick job promotion, and the skills you have gained. In this response, you outline your work history in a way that is easy to understand and follow.
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Anonymous Answer
"I spent six years developing customer experiences and being a project manager."
Alexandra's Answer
Good answer! I would consider adding more information here describing what your responsibilities were and what impact you had.
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15.
What are some of your weaknesses?
Pick weaknesses that are not a core skill for this position. You can be candid in your answer; recognizing that you aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure to have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness.

Perhaps you are watching TED talks to gain skills in a particular area, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center. We are all human with our weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!

Rachelle's Answer
"Everyone has weaknesses. I tend to be too nice sometimes. When vendors are not fulfilling their requirements, I tend to believe there must be a logical and understandable reason. I have to remind myself that we are paying for a service and they must meet our expectations."
Anonymous Answer
"One of my main weaknesses is turning away work. I feel guilty for saying, "I can not take anything more on," but have learned to say I can't."
Alexandra's Answer
I think this answer is a little unclear. You mention that turning away work is a weakness, but the way you describe it sounds like a strength. This is definitely a tough interview question. Instead of spinning it this way, I recommend describing a true weakness and then a way that you are combatting it. You could also position it as "One time I received a piece of feedback that I could be better at ____. Since then, I've done XYZ to improve."
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